This is definitely a weird season. It keeps moving in lurches and loops, compared to previous years.
I was extremely excited, when I realized where they were headed (one of the most important farm-restaurant operations in the country, if not the world), and wanted to see the chefs really get in touch with their food, at the source. I was extraordinarily disappointed to see that they were not expected to kill their animals; it would have made an enormous difference, I think, in how seriously they took the challenge of “respecting” the food, if they were expected to take the animals’ lives themselves. It was a horrible, horrible waste, what they did with some of the best ingredients they have ever had the opportunity to use (and probably ever will, in their whole careers). It was a privilege for them to cook with that stuff, and they blew it, treating most of it like they got it from the case at Whole Foods, as usual. Going from living animal to dead animal, under their own blades, might have forced them to make the transition they clearly failed to make. Pissed me off. Yes, it would have triggered some strong reactions in the viewing audience, and possibly some hate mail, to watch these reality-show mopes cutting the throats of cute little lambs, but for fuck’s sake, they’re cooking and eating meat, and tasteful handling could have gone a long way to expose our hypocritical squeamishness on the topic, and educated people about responsibility toward our food sources.
Sorry, this is a bit of a sensitive subject for me. Bottom line, the show had a real opportunity here, and basically blew it.
And yeah, that snarky bitch Leah should have been sent packing. She’s doing the old “hide in the middle of the pack until later” thing, and Colicchio is usually better at catching people out on that, and punishing them appropriately. Ariane sure ain’t the best cook there, but she’s got way more heart than almost anybody. Her lack of technical refinement guaranteed that she was never going to win, but nevertheless I think I’d rather eat her food than any of the other competitors, and she should have lasted longer on that basis alone.
Oh, and somebody needs to push Stefan’s head into the fry-o-lator.